I can't even tell if it is coming or going ...
Striking photograph regardless.
Riodinidae , genus is Theope. Yay, I got one!
Ooh, and do i get extra points for saying that it's being attended by Azteca velox? I'm really excited right now.
"In these obligate symbioses the
exaggerated balloon setae surrounding the head of
Theope caterpillars (figure 1) appear important in med-
iating associations with dolichoderine ants by providing
semiochemical stimuli to ant symbionts (DeVries 1997)."
From "Ancient butterfly-ant symbiosis: direct evidence from Dominican amber" (DeVries and Poinar 1997).
Gosh, is this the DeVries who has some show on Animal Planet?
so, it is coming, then!
Gosh. Infinity points. I'm not even sure how to start giving those out!
I found something that refutes that and says they're "used to store and disperse a noxious chemical when the caterpillar or pupa is grabbed by a predator, rather than to facilitate a symbiotic relationship with ants, as previously suggested." I can't access it, but you might.
Well, time to get to my homework, then!